Monday, January 26, 2009

On blonde ....

I work out once a year.

In college it was once a semester. I would take my student ID card and scan into the field house; usually it was sometime between midterms and finals. Frustrated with my complete lack of willpower to complete assignments and social angst bottling up inside of me because the boy from 3B just KEPT showing up no matter how nicely I implied I really didn't want him there, I would throw on tennis shoes and hurry past the group of buzzing socialness that always seemed gathered in my living room. The gym seemed my only valid hiding place. They'll never find me there, I would think. I'm NEVER there. This rare pilgrimage to the elliptical machines only occurred when my mind's automatic response to crisis was not its default eat-something-with lots-of-cheese-and-all-your-problems-will-be-solved setting. Instead, the brain said RUN!!! So I would; and six months later my body would want to repeat the process.

I was reminded last week why workouts in higher frequency are a bad idea. I signed up for a gym membership ... only $4 out of every paycheck thanks to a rockin' deal my company made. If I can continue to fit in the clothes I bought in high school it will save me money in the long run. They've still got two more years of wear left, right? So when my favorite jeans became snug and that red shirt was cutting off circulation to my elbows, I knew something had to be done.

My badge hadn't been activated yet when I showed up on Monday. The man at the desk handed me a temporary card and I swiped myself into the gym. I was halfway through my workout and almost through the Fountains of Wayne playlist on my iPod when I realized I had locked the temporary badge inside the locker room.

I was met with a long silence and blank stare at the end of my workout when I asked for another temporary badge to retrieve the first one.

"That was our only women's key," he said, recovering.
"So .... how do I get in?" I asked.
"You'll have to wait until another woman comes in. Guess you'll get that extra 10 minutes on the treadmill whether you like it or not!" he said with an encouraging smile.

I forced a laugh. I've already worked out longer tonight than in the last year combined, I thought. Where on earth was I going to get the willpower for another 10 minutes?

Well, I didn't wait 10 minutes -- an hour and a half later I was certain I was going to be the first person to die from exposure to gym air for unhealthily long periods of time. I looked like an idiot throwing a basketball a foot or two below the hoop and moving from piece to piece of equipment. At one point I found myself on a bike watching TV, not pedaling. I was the only girl in the gym. I got a lot of confused looks as I paced around the weights and turned pirouettes on the basketball court.

"We can't keep you here all night," the desk man finally told me.

So a 12-year-old kid from next door and his trainer were recruited from the baseball training facility. He shimmied up a ladder I was too short to climb and threw himself over the wall of the ladies locker room, sliding through the two-foot clearance between the dividing wall and the ceiling.

I was free!

I was also pretty sure I was humiliated. I'm going to keep my Taco Bell crunchwrap supremes and Chocolate Chex so I either need to learn to keep my badge with me, or get in better shape. That way, the next time I'm stuck in the gym for two hours, my endurance will be ready. Bring on the basketball!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On awkward ...

I sat wet and uncomfortable on Paul's couch with my legs curled underneath me and a green afghan. Natalie sat on the opposite love seat alternating between giggles and shaking her head at me.

"Seriously, I have some pants. Do you want to borrow them?"

At 16, no phrase could have been more awkward.

I was soaked from the knees down waiting for friends to arrive for a party and a friend's much older (so that's what college boys look like!) and incredibly intimidating in an every-glance-reeks-of-superiority-kind-of-way brother was asking me if I wanted to borrow some pants.

The decision to go outside was probably a bad one to begin with. It was the middle of January. It was freezing. Why on earth did we ever leave the warmth of the house anyway?

"Hey guys!" Paul invited. "The swimming pool's frozen over. We never drained it ... come look!"

"Can we walk on it?" Natalie asked.

"Why not?" he answered.

"You guys are dumb," I said walking to the other side.

I was a Red Cross certified lifeguard. No way would they be catching me on that ice.

"I'm not going in after you if you fall in!" I protested.

Three feet into the center of the swimming pool they were still upright and laughing. My resolution to stay poolside waned. I took a step onto the frozen chlorine.


And another step.

I freaked out and jumped back to the side, laughing.

Wait, I thought. What's that?

A chunk of ice caught my attention. I began digging for it with my shoe. I lost my balance and WHAM! -- right through the ice.

A few minutes later my face was flushed and I repeatedly denied Mr. I'm Cool's requests to take his pants. An hour later, however, I was still in wet denim and still very uncomfortable. I took the green sweats and then horror of horrors the college boy grabbed my pants and walked into another room.

"I'm throwing these into the dryer. I'll bring them out when they're dry so you can change," he said.

Three things flashed through my mind: back pocket, lip gloss & tampon.

I flushed harder and spent the next half-hour plotting reasons I needed to get into the laundry room. Some plausible explanation for why I was on the other side of the house and not with the rest of the party and wearing her son's pants when Paul's mom came in to change a load. Nothing came to mind. It was clear, however, I needed those items. Ruining the dryer with melted lip gloss was not the way I wanted to be remembered around the Davis home and if I could have chosen jumping into a volcano or having Danny hand me my dry jeans with a tampon neatly placed on top, I would have chosen the volcano.

Overcoming every ounce of intimidation and insecurity that had bottled up in my 16-year-old self over the last half hour I bravely walked through the kitchen and into the laundry room. I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief.

Purse, I thought. That's where I can put everything till I have pockets again.

It was back in the living room.

I almost died that night ... twice. First the ice and then the laundry room.

Being 16 was hard.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Calling all friends ...

Dear friend,

I suck at this New Year's thing. I set resolutions yesterday in church (curse my inspired Relief Society President for knowing I wasn't going to set any unless she made me!!!) and I've failed EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM and it's only Monday at 11 p.m. Every single one. I knew there was a reason I never made them in the first place! Curses. I wondered if you could do me a favor ... I have this incredibly ambitious goal of being on time for work. I know, I know ... cancer needs to be cured, world hunger should be ended and I still have no idea how to scrapbook. But would you mind calling me in the morning, say around 7:30 a.m? Just to make sure I'm up? I realize it's pathetic I have to set a New Year's resolution to be on time to work ... you would think that would be a given when as a mature, responsible adult I accepted the job. Nope. Not so. I still have to drag myself out of bed every morning and I have to remind myself that it really IS a problem when I walk in the door at 10:15 a.m. and everyone else has been there since at least 9:30 a.m. Which ironically, is the time I finally put my feet to the carpet this morning.


Maybe one day I will not only wake up, but will be able to shower, exercise, attend an Institute class or do a variety of other things before 10 a.m. But for now, I would be content with just untangling myself from the sheets.

Now taking applications for a volunteer wake-up call service ...

On moving out ...

I have been officially relegated to "guest room" status. My childhood bedroom is no more after being replaced by office equipment and stuff my mom doesn't want to store anywhere else. This meant boxing my stuff in Tupperware bins and hauling them around in the trunk of my car.

There was a column in the Deseret News a few years back highlighting "The Top 10 Reasons Utah Men Aren't Getting Married." (I highly recommend reading the full column here.) Number seven goes like this:

You're trying to meet the expectations of that "150-things-I-demand-in-a-husband" list that all girls prepare in Young Women. If you don't look like Brad Pitt, have a wallet like Steve Young or act like Capt. Moroni, good luck.

I found several of these lists as I cleaned out what-used-to-be-mine-but-isn't-because-my-parents-have-no-legal-obligation-to-provide-me-shelter-anymore closet. I scanned them gleefully looking for signs of growth and maturity throughout the years and a hoping for a good laugh.

I was sorely disappointed. Where were the outrageous expectations? The ridiculous requests? The one-way tickets to only-in-your-wildest-dreams land? My 14-year-old self was apparently very practical because "has a stable job" and "good with kids" topped the list. Bleh.

I'm tempted to sneak into my friend's rooms and steal their lists with items like "is exactly 6 feet 1.233 inches tall" and "has green eyes, tan skin and Dutch heritage so he'll bring me tulips every day" can be claimed as my own. I swear I knew a girl who was determined to marry a doctor who plays guitar and piano, speaks Spanish and can do a running front handspring ending in an inverted double-tuck.

With eight years of dating experience behind me, my wiser, more jaded self wants to reach back into that closet, pull out the first Lisa Frank glitter pen I can find and add the following to my list:

  • He should know the difference between NPR and the NRA.
  • I shouldn't have to define more than one word I use per conversation for him to keep up.
  • He must, and this is an absolute must, be able to drive stick-shift and parallel park.

So much for the trapese-flying, tri-lingual accountant!


What are your additions to the list?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Impressed ...

So I was looking for some Sunday goodness on the LDS Web site tonight and THIS was linked to from the main page.

Music videos, widgets, Adobe Flash, rolling menu at the bottom. I'm very impressed. The site is cleanly designed, fun and even though I've been out the Young Women program for almost as long as I was part of it (oy vey! I'm getting old!) it made me happy.

Check it out! You may feel ancient, but it's worth a look. I never did learn all of the scripture mastery. Maybe the new interactive game feature can remedy that! There's even a place to post and print your commitments for 2009. Why didn't me and my fellow youth, LDS and non-LDS alike, have resources like this when we were 12? Oh wait ... the iPod hadn't been invented yet and a widget sounded more like something from "Lord of the Rings" than a technological advancement. Good luck.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Personally speaking ...

Joe: I've done a lot of soul searching lately. I've been asking myself some tough questions. You know what I've found out?
Patricia: What?
Joe: I have no interest in myself. I think about myself, I get bored out of my mind.
--Joe Vs. the Volcano, 1990
When I was helping a friend edit/revise personal statements she was sending to various medical schools I couldn't have been more confident in my writing abilities or in the joys of "Google Documents." Red=strike. Green=it needs to be changed, here's where you could possibly take it. Blue=I modified it. It's better now ... don't touch it me.

Now I'm applying for law school. I have used up an entire bottle of digital white-out and crumpled hundreds of electronic pages, throwing them with poor aim into the virtual wastebasket. The writing gods are giving me my due. I have nothing.

Whip out a 20-inch story on the mundane topic of construction in higher education with a 2 p.m. deadline? Not a problem. Vent for pages about the injustices caused by policemen/carwrecks/roommates? Check. Write about myself for two pages, double-spaced, in a format that gets me into law school? My fingers start doing this: lakjdf lacioajdknfiadh bo9wqo'[odjskfnadf.

I have a feeling this isn't exactly what the LSAC is looking for when they request a personal statement:

Dear LSAC admission board,
You've seen my grades, my LSAT score and my resume. Now you want something more personal, huh? Well ... there was the time I had a recurring dream about giant bumblebees and the fact I'm still haunted by it, but that doesn't have much to do with law school, does it? What if I just told you I'm a decent student and I still really have no idea why I want to be lawyer? Will that get me in? Please e-mail any inquires or personal questions to the address listed above. In the meantime, I'll be awaiting my acceptance letter and scholarship notification.